At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 19, 1989, Officer David Owens, of the Savannah Police Department, responded to a call of “an officer down” at the Greyhound bus station on Oglethorpe Avenue. (T. 759) . Officer Owens found the victim, Mark McPhail, a 27 year-old Savannah police officer, lying face down in the parking lot of the Burger King restaurant next to the bus station. (T. 759). Officer McPhail’s mouth was filled with blood and bits of his teeth were on the sidewalk. As he began administering CPR to the victim, Officer Owens noticed that the victim’s firearm was still snapped into his holster. (T. 761). Larry Young, who was present at the scene, told police that between midnight and 1:00 a.m. he had walked from the Burger King parking lot, which was frequented by transients and homeless individuals, to the convenience store down the block to purchase beer. (T. 797-798). Sylvester “Red” Coles saw Young leave the pool hall next door and began following Young demanding a beer. (T. 798). Coles continued to harass Mr. Young all the way back to the Burger King. (T. 799). When Young arrived at the parking lot, Harriet Murray and two unidentified men were sitting on a low wall by the restaurant. Davis and Daryl Collins, who had taken a shortcut to the parking lot, came out from behind the bank and surrounded Mr. Young. (T. 799). Mr. Coles, who was facing Mr. Young, told him not to walk away “cause you don’t know me, I’ll shoot you,” and began digging in his pants. (T. 845). The two men seated on the wall fled, and Ms. Murray ran to the back door of the Burger King, which was locked. (T. 799). Davis, who was behind Young and to his right, blindsighted him, striking him on the side of the face with a snub-nosed pistol, inflicting a severe head injury which formed the basis of Count III of the indictment. Mr. Young began to bleed profusely, and he stumbled to a van parked in front of the Burger King drive-in window, asking the occupants for help. (T. 803). When the driver did not respond, he went to the drive-in window, but the manager shut it in his face. (T. 803, 915).
In response to the disturbance in the parking lot, Officer McPhail, who was working as a security guard at the restaurant, walked rapidly from behind the bus station, with his nightstick in his hand and ordered the three men to halt. (T. 849). Mr. Collins and Davis fled, and Officer McPhail ran past Sylvester Coles in pursuit of Davis. (T. 851). Davis looked over his shoulder, and when the officer was five to six feet away, shot him. Officer McPhail fell to the ground, and Davis walked towards him and shot him again while he was on the ground. (T. 850). One eyewitness testified that Davis was smiling at the time. (T. 851). The victim died of gunshot wounds before help arrived. Thirty minutes after the killing, Red Coles appeared at his sister’s house a few blocks from the bus station. Mr. Coles asked his sister for another shirt. (T. 915). Shortly thereafter, Davis appeared and asked Mr. Coles for the yellow t-shirt Coles had been wearing. After he changed his shirt, Davis left. (T. 915). Davis fled to Atlanta the following day and surrendered to authorities on August 23, 1989. Pursuant to an investigation, police learned that on the night prior to the killing, Davis had attended a party on Cloverdale Drive in a subdivision near Savannah. (T. 1115-1116). During the party, Davis, annoyed that some girls ignored him, told several of his friends something about “burning them.” (T. 146). Davis then walked around saying, “I feel like doing something, anything.” (T. 1464). When Michael Cooper and his friends were leaving the party, Davis was standing out front. (T. 1120). Michael Cooper was in the front passenger seat, and as the car pulled away, several of the men in the car leaned out the window shouting and throwing things. (T. 1120, 1186). Davis shot at the car from a couple of hundred feet away and the bullet shattered the back windshield and lodged in Michael Cooper’s right jaw. (T. 1186). Cooper was treated at the hospital and released and Cooper’s injury formed the basis for Count IV of Davis’ indictment. The shooting incident took place approximately one hour before Officer McPhail was shot. Shortly after Michael Cooper was shot, Eric Ellison and D.D. Collins picked up Davis in Cloverdale and took him to Brown’s pool hall in Savannah. Red Coles, wearing a yellow t-shirt, was already at the pool hall. An autopsy revealed that Officer McPhail was shot twice. One bullet entered the corner of his cheekbone on the left side and exited the back of his neck; the bullet blew away bits of his teeth, and his lip was impaled on his teeth. (T. 782-784). The second bullet passed through the armhole of McPhail’s bullet-proof vest, and entered his chest on the left side. (T. 784). This bullet pierced the lung and the aorta, and lodged in the opposite side between the third and fourth vertebrae, at the back of the chest cavity near the spinal column. (T. 784-787). The cause of the victim’s death was a loss of blood from a gunshot wound to the left side of his chest. (T. 789). The pathologist further noted that there were scrapes and lacerations on the victim’s arms and legs, and an apparent injury to his right thigh, which could have been grazed by a bullet. (T. 788-789). A ballistics expert testified that the bullet that wounded Michael Cooper could have been fired from a .38 special revolver or a .357 magnum. (T. 1291). The bullet from McPhail’s body was of the same type and was possibly fired from the same weapon as used in the Cooper shooting. (T. 1292). Four .38 special casings recovered at Cloverdale, where Michael Cooper was wounded, were fired from the same gun as casings found at the scene of Officer McPhail’s murder. (T. 1292). At trial, Kevin McQueen, who was at the Chatham City jail with Davis, testified that Davis told him there had been a party in Cloverdale on the night prior to the victim’s murder; Davis had argued with some boys and there was an exchange of gunfire. (T. 1230-1231). Davis told McQueen he did some of the shooting. (T. 1231). After the party, Davis went to a girlfriend’s house and intended to eat breakfast at Burger King. Davis stated that he was with a friend and they ran into a guy who “owed money to buy dope.” (T. 1231). There was a fight, Officer McPhail appeared, and Davis shot him in the face. As Officer McPhail attempted to get up, Davis shot him again, because he was afraid McPhail had seen him that night at Cloverdale. (T. 1232). Davis also told McQueen that he was on his way out of town to Atlanta. (T. 1232). Jeffrey Lapp testified that Davis told him he did the shooting at Burger King, but that it was self-defense. (T. 1249-1252). Mr. Lapp noted that Davis’ street name was RAH, standing for “Rough As Hell.” (T. 1257). Red Coles identified Davis as the perpetrator of Officer McPhail’s murder, as did numerous other eyewitnesses, including Harriet Murray, Dorothy Ferrell, Daryl Collins, Antoine Williams, Steven Sanders and Larry Young.
Davis testified at trial. Davis admitted that he was present at the scene of the shooting on the night in question, but denied that he was involved in the shooting of Cooper or the victim or the assault on Larry Young.
In: Regional News
Tags: thug, gangster, gang banger, drugs, mudre, officer, cop, MacPhail, Troy Davis
Location: Savannah, Georgia, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 6285 | Comments: 8 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 25 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
|Liveleak on Facebook|